Colton was originally a chapelry within the parish of Hawkshead and became a separate parish around 1676. Finsthwaite, Haverthwaite and Rusland later became chapelries within Colton parish.
The parish consists of large areas of forestry, which gave employment to a number of parishioners. Others would have found employment in farming, the iron industries at Backbarrow, Nibthwaite and Rusland and the manufacture of bobbins, gunpowder, baskets, hoops and laundry blue. There has also been cotton manufacturing and flax spinning within the parish.
The population has changed over the years as the industries have increased and then declined, from 1516 in 1801, rising to 1983 in 1841; falling to 1648 in 1901 and 765 in 2001.
There is a station in Haverthwaite which was originally on the Lakeside branch of the Furness Railway. Today this is a tourist attraction with steam trains running between Haverthwaite and Lakeside.
This map has been created from
Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850
By Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., University of Exeter. School of Geography and Archaeology, 17 May 2001
Distributed by: History Data Service, UK Data Archive, University of Essex, Colchester.